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Debug Platform/Planning

This page is gathering place of ideas for the future evolution of the Eclipse debug platform (3.*, and e4).

Debug Platform 3.5


  • Reliability
    • 242489 
      Create a framework based on the virtual viewer that simulates the common debugger views and validates debug model's content providers. (Pawel Piech)
  • Platform
    Make it easier to create different breakpoint types from the same editor.
    Allow command framework handlers easy access to active debug context.


  • Workflow
    • Debugging without the debug view or debug perspective
      Active debug context switcher 
      Create a lightweight mechanism for switching and reporting the active debug context (Pawel Piech).
      Debug toolbar 
      Add a top-level toolbar for Debug actions (Pawel Piech).
  • Platform Enhancements
    Make run to line adapter async.
    Allow breakpoints to specify when they should be overwritten on import
    [launching] Support ILaunchConfigurations on EFS
  • JDT Enhancements
    • Execution Environments : Support for custom execution environments. This is a joint effort between OSGi, JDT, and PDE. OSGi needs support for contributing OSGi profile definitions. JDT needs to be able to reference those profiles (connect an .ee file to an OSGi profile), PDE needs to be able to set compiler options based on an OSGi profile, and API tooling needs to be able to understand the profile definitions as well to build a system library component.


  • Reliability
    • Rework performance test suite to make relevant/stable test cases
  • Workflow
    • Memory View
      streamline memory view workflow & reduce UI clutter (Ted Williams, Wind River)
    • Multiple-context debugging
      Debug working sets 
      Implement a mechanism to let the user group a sub-set of debug contexts, and then use this sub-set to drive content of debugger views. A color, label, and a decorator could be used to identify the working set.
      Multiple instances of debugger views 
      Allow user to create multiple instances of Variables, Registers and other debugger views. To make this feature useful, also allow the user to select the input debug context for the views.


Debug Platform 3.*

  • Modularity
    • Asynchronous viewer framework
      Contribute asynchronous viewer to JFace.
      Create a virtual viewer implementation for use in tests, debug search, and a view-less active context provider.
      DSF View Model implementation for standard debug model 
      Prototype a standard debug model/flexible hierarchy integration using DSF View Model (Pawel Piech).
  • Platform
    Contribute process "Spawner" from CDT to platform, to support process IDs and system signals (Darin Wright).
    Allow plug-ins to extend/modify/cancel launches.
    CDT breakpoint actions 
    Move breakpoint actions from CDT to the platform (Ken Ryall).
    Launch configurations in EFS 
    Support EFS (external file system) for launch configuration persistence (Darin Wright).
  • Workflow
    • Debugging without the debug view or debug perspective
      Debug dashboard 
      Create a lightweight variables view or "debug dashboard" (requested by ?).
    • Debugger tooltip enhancements
      Instant debugger tooltips 
      Implement debugger tooltips as "instant debugger tooltips", which appear without waiting for operating system delay (Mike Morearty).
      Tooltip updates 
      Each time you step, tooltip automatically refreshes the displayed value (Mike Morearty).
      In-line expressions editing 
      In the Expressions view, allow user to click or double-click to add or edit expressions in-line, without opening a dialog (Mike Morearty).
    • Breakpoints presentation
      Decorate breakpoints according to active debug context.
      Improve usability of the breakpoints view.
    • Multiple-context debugging
      Debugging with multiple editors visible 
      Allow debugger to manage the editor area to display multiple debug sessions simultaneously.
  • Reliability
    • Performance tests 
      Create more meaningful performance tests and backport to 3.4

Debug Platform e4

  • Modularity
    Use services instead of singletons (launch manager, expression manager...)
    Launch Framework 
    Separate launching into a new component, that can be used without debug
    Moving forward what happens to the standard debug model? DSF?
  • Platform
    • Improve launch framework
      Launch APIs 
      Consolidate/simplify launching APIs (mixed mode, launch shortcuts, contextual launch)
      Decouple launch configurations 
      Should we continue to use launch configurations, or consider an architecture that would allow aspects of a launch be used more easily to compose different types of launch configurations (e.g. JRE, Source lookup...)
        • How can we make the UI for a launch aspect more reuseable?
      External tools 
      Merge external tools with run/debug
      Support for multi-launch
      Get rid of StreamsProxy 
      Provide direct access to a process's input/output streams (no need for StreamsProxy)
      Launch configuration namespaces 
      Namespace for launch configurations should not be flat

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